I was sitting here getting vertigo from my mind spinning and I wondered, do other people do this?
Do you constantly sit there and think about what you need to do, should do, must do, can't do, will do, and want to do?
Always always always <----I do this.
In any given moment there is:
What I am doing
What I should be doing.
What I actually want to be doing.
And my husband---my darling "we're in our fourteenth year of marriage" wonderful husband---adds to it with non-helpful comments like, "Have you taken care of the such-and-so yet?" or "We really need to get around to doing this and that."
Take this morning.
On Friday we received notice that some library books I'd checked out for Patience were due. Inexplicably she's all into the Sabrina, The Teenage Witch chapter books. She checked out three of those, and I added in a couple of Trixie Beldens and Beverly Clearys to I don't know offset the influence of I don't know what but something that makes me feel vaguely uncomfortable.
The point is, we returned what I thought were all of the books. However we received notice from the library that nope, in fact, we did not, several were still out and due back today.
My husband saw this message on Saturday and said to me, "Hey we need to recheck these books."
I said, "I really don't know how to do it over the computer and I'm sort of busy right now, so if you could..."
He says, "Oh, really, it's so easy...I'll show you how later."
Except honestly? I don't want to learn how to do this later. I want him to do it right now, when he notices it needs to be done and knows how to do it and I am otherwise occupied.
Flash to this morning. I am frenetically bouncing between getting me and the kids rady to go this morning, cleaning up the yogurt and applesauce mess Persistence made in the kitchen, gathering and bagging all the trash, tidying up a bit as I go, and otherwise feeling very stressed. And sick. Still. Again.
So imagine the frame of mind in which I heard my husband---sitting in the office chair, checking a traffic and weather web site---say to me, as I passed by the office with five little bags of trash in both hands, "Hey hon, did you recheck those books because they're due today."
He'll read this defensively, I know he will. He'll want to say that he was already running late for work and needed to go, that he wants to help, and already had quite a bit that morning.
And I'll want to be defensive too, saying can you imagine a sinus infection off a cold that is so bad your teeth ache in your mouth like a root canal and that's just the start of it...and the left side of your face is so puffy as to look, well, about as sick as you feel, but you've got work and home and kids and mommies don't get sick days. You'd bear it all with grace except since you moved to the Seventh Circle of Hell---which is annually plagued by disasters of Biblical proportions, currently we are Utterly Flooded and Under Water from vicious storms that lasted four days---you feel like this most of the time.
If you take enough meds and the stars align right, you feel okay enough to fake it through most days. Some days you even feel a slight raise of energy and remember, oh yeah, I used to be a perky and peppy and funny and energetic and motivated and get-up and go person. When I lived in Boston, a decent place. A place that didn't kill me.
So all that to explain why---to my husband, who asked, from his and probably other POVs a completely reasonable question that might even have been meant to be helpful---I screeched words that I don't think he even could hear because it was about at the level only dogs could hear.
In short, in case he or you are curious, it was something about using every last fiber of my being to barely manage to do the bare minimum and it just Never. Is. Enough.
This is me, out of balance and drained.
I mean screeching at a level only dogs can hear? Over library books?
My husband looked at me and I could see his thoguhts. He thought one thing: Prozac.
He did one thing: He got the library card and re-checked the books.
If you juggle many things in your life (and who doesn't?) you know it's everything, too much of everything really. The kids are probably in some sort of spurt (the youngest for sure) and extra demanding, my health is on the downturn after a nice upswing, and we've hit the major busy season of loads of friend and family birthdays, special events, and so forth on top of the usual demands.
It's fun, a lot of it, but even fun can be stressful, right, and tiring.
So this time, the photo ought to be of me blurry because that is how I feel and feel like I look just now. Maybe my mouth ought to be open big and wide, and my eyes ought to be rolling in their sockets. (Instead it's a piece I've been working on the last few weeks---red oleanders, ethereal.)
Okay hey that's kind of funny. Maybe in a few hours I can laugh at this.
By Julie Pippert
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